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Tuesday, October 20
Pig and Pug
Written by Laura Marchesani & Zenaides A. Medina, Jr.
Illustrated by Jarvis
My rating: ★★★★
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
Date of publication: March 10, 2015
Age: Grades K - 2
Themes: friendship, farm animals, dogs, differences & similarities
Pig lives on a farm with lots of other animals. All the animals have friends, but Pig does not. One day a new animal comes to the farm. Pug has a curly tail like Pig. Pug plays in the mud like Pig. Pug even snorts like Pig. Pug is not a pig, but maybe, just maybe, Pig and Pug can be friends!
It's adorable. I mean, yes, everyone knows how cute little smooshed-face pugs are. Combine it with squishy little pink piglet... I mean, honestly. Okay, on to the more important aspects here. In terms of a beginning reader, I think the book is excellent. The vocabulary is simple (I think the hardest words are "together" and "afternoon") and repetitive (so very repetitive...), so kids really get a chance to learn them.
The illustrations are clever and contribute to the context. What makes them even better are the little extras, like some of the animals doing silly things. It's cute, it's funny—very important in my book. The story itself, however, did have some disconnects. The other farm animals point out all of these similarities, but Pug is not a pig, so "Pig and Pug cannot be friends." Then they find even more similarities, and now it's okay to be friends. That logical sequence seemed a bit off to me, but it does drive the story forward. It's a super small criticism for an overall excellent book. Try it out!
Find it at your library or on Amazon